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False DMCA got me removed from google. Help?

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by ~Bored~, May 8, 2013.

  1. #1
    One of my competitors decided that the best way to beat me was to send google a false DMCA report which resulted in my site being removed from google (the home page).

    They created a /welcome.html page, grabbed my content and then told google I copied them! I have my site copyrighted with the US copyrights office. I sent google a counter DMCA telling them the claim is a false claim however google has not responded to me or added my home page back to its search results.

    I need help on what to do from here, a lawyer is too expensive, i cant afford one. Has this happened to anyone here and what did you do that worked?
    ~Bored~, May 8, 2013 IP
  2. browntwn

    browntwn Prominent Member

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    #2

    Did you file a proper counter-notice within the time limits allowed? Have you waited the full amount of time required for your content to be restored?

    Google has a legal obligation to follow the DMCA or they can be sued for failing to restore your material after you have filed a proper counter-notice.
    browntwn, May 8, 2013 IP
  3. ~Bored~

    ~Bored~ Member

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    #3

    Hey thanks for the reply. I sent the counter-notice as soon as I got the email from webmasters tools that the site was being removed. March 25, 2013 I probably submitted it on March 27,2013 and I have not heard from them at all. So im really worried. Right now Im redirecting my .com/ page to /index.html which may be bad SEO wise but im hoping the websites home page gets added again. :(
    ~Bored~, May 8, 2013 IP
  4. browntwn

    browntwn Prominent Member

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    #4


    I don't use webmaster tools from Google so I am not sure how that works as part of the DMCA. Is there some way to see that they received your counter-notice?
    browntwn, May 8, 2013 IP
  5. ~Bored~

    ~Bored~ Member

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    #5
    No, once you submit it it says they will reply back if they take action.

    This is their counter-notice form : support.google.com/bin/request.py?hl=en&product=websearch&contact_type=lr_counternotice
    ~Bored~, May 8, 2013 IP
  6. browntwn

    browntwn Prominent Member

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    #6
    Well obviously they are supposed to respect and act on a properly filed counter notice. They have no reason not to. If they fail to act on the counter notice they open themselves up to a lawsuit. Aside from contacting Google to make sure they got the counter-notice or contacting a lawyer I am not sure what other options you have.
    browntwn, May 8, 2013 IP
  7. Nigel Lew

    Nigel Lew Notable Member

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    #7
    There is very little on this earth that pisses me off more than the DMCA.

    Nigel
    Nigel Lew, May 8, 2013 IP
  8. dscurlock

    dscurlock Well-Known Member

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    #8
    Sue the govt... :cool:

    DMCA = Fraudulent system.

    If you ask me, i think if someone has a true valid dmca complaint
    then it needs to go through the court system. There just seems to
    be too many bogus dmca claims for the most part that neither side
    can prove or disprove, so google gets dmca on a site, then boom, thats it?

    and I do not think google should be incontrol of dmca...I think it
    should go to court; let the court decide, then forward to google, then
    from there, the court can decide what is fair, who gets punished,
    who has to pay, and so on...

    I know people like the word "sue" maybe it gives them some hope, but
    really? my penny atty up against google attorneys that will drag
    this out until your grandkids has grandkids, and thats a long time....

    But doesnt dmca law says there are still penalties for filing a false dmca?
    really? ok, is he from the us? if not, then what are they going to do?
    If what op said is true, then he already has a right to sue the other party
    for filing a bogus dmca, but wait, how can he actually prove it?

    that just goes to show, someone from another country can file
    a bogus dmca using us info, and boom thats it? and pretty
    much nothing happens to the guy from the other country for
    filing the false dmca, what a system...

    DMCA is just simple proof how our govt system is completely broken....

    maybe the govt should be sued, but wait, every time i turn
    on the damn news its about: Benghazi

    so its very unlikely the govt will not give a rats ass...



    Last edited: May 13, 2013
    dscurlock, May 13, 2013 IP
  9. cochisetm

    cochisetm Member

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    #9
    We had a similar situation a few years ago. We filed a counter-notice via Google Web Master Tools and our pages were returned to Google's search results. Unfortunately, this took around 3-4 months if memory serves. Filing a false DMCA is illegal and the accuser can be held liable. Read more here: http://targetlaw.com/consequences-of-filing-a-false-dmca-takedown-request. My advice is to get Web Master Tools setup on your site ASAP (only takes a minute) and file your counter-notice to get the ball rolling. I would then consult an attorney to determine if your losses can be reasonably calculated and then go after your competitor. Hopefully the short-term damage you suffer is much less than the long-term damage you can cause for them. Of course, any time you undertake legal action, there is a (normally good) chance that the only people who win will be the attorneys so be sure your competitor is collectable before pursuing that avenue.
    cochisetm, Jun 6, 2013 IP
  10. ~Bored~

    ~Bored~ Member

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    #10
    Hey, fantastic, thanks. I do have google webmasters account, its how google notified me in the first place that my site was being removed. Also im at least happy to hear that google will eventually do something about it. Its been two months now I think since the removal. I have consulted with over 4 attorneys none of them get involved, im still waiting to hear from them. Apparently they must not see much profit for them. I do know its against the law. My site has attracted a lot of teens who end up building their own website, I think it was one of those teens who without thinking about the consequences just filed it. He/She removed the page they said i was copying as soon as my site was removed from google. That just goes to show.
    ~Bored~, Jun 6, 2013 IP
  11. Nigel Lew

    Nigel Lew Notable Member

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    #11
    # of people held accountable for lodging fraudulent DMCA takedowns (fucking hollywood trade orgs do this en mass and don't give a shit) is exactly 0.

    Nigel
    Nigel Lew, Jun 6, 2013 IP
  12. Dave Zan

    Dave Zan Well-Known Member

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    #12
    Dave Zan, Jun 6, 2013 IP
  13. Nigel Lew

    Nigel Lew Notable Member

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    #13
    Nice find Dave. As per that article, there are 2 instances out of what is likely verging on trillions of dmca notices. I see someone folded though. TLDR mode here but, I don't see that the court actually rendered a judgement?? Is there any precedent rendered as a result here?

    Diebold is up there in terms of needing a smackdown anyway.

    EDIT: Less the summary judgement I guess lol.. I think my question is, did this happen in a court that is at all relevant to future litigation?

    Nigel
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
    Nigel Lew, Jun 6, 2013 IP
  14. Dave Zan

    Dave Zan Well-Known Member

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    #14

    Dunno about the specific cases mentioned in that link, though I just read that Lenz vs. Universal Music Corp is still on-going after the latter challenged the last decision (with money penalties) found against them.
    Dave Zan, Jun 8, 2013 IP
  15. ~Bored~

    ~Bored~ Member

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    #15
    Today, after 2 months, Google sent me the following message:
    "Hello,

    Thanks for reaching out to us.


    We have received your DMCA counter notification dated 4/12/13. As described in 17 U.S.C. 512(g), we will forward the counter notification to the complainant. If we do not receive notice that the complainant has brought a court action within 10 to 14 days, we will reinstate the material in question. We appreciate your patience in this process."

    So it looks like they do something, they just take a very long time to do so. Also in retrospect I'm glad I did not have to pay a lawyer to take this case for me when in the end it was going to be read by Google.
    ~Bored~, Jun 19, 2013 IP
    browntwn likes this.
  16. browntwn

    browntwn Prominent Member

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    #16
    Thanks for the update.

    It is very strange it took so long for them to review it. It sounds like the email, referencing the date of your counter notice, shows that Google is in violation of the DMCA. If you ever wanted to sue Google, even in Small Claims Court, it would seem like they have helped proved that they did not act in a timely fashion as they are required to.
    browntwn, Jun 19, 2013 IP
  17. Law-Dude

    Law-Dude Active Member

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    #17
    Yes. The judgment is binding on any future decisions of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California unless a higher court establishes a different rule in a future case. Since Google is headquartered in that district, it becomes very relevant for any DMCA lawsuits involving them.

    It's not really necessary anywhere in the United States to rely on such a precedent, though, because it is black letter law that people are liable for any damages caused by false DMCA notices. According to 17 U.S.C. § 512(f):

    Law-Dude, Jun 23, 2013 IP